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Are Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers Vegan? (Answered)

Are Trader Joe's Scandinavian Swimmers Vegan

Trader Joe’s is a much-lauded American grocery store chain that has reached success by it’s unorthodox but delicious product offerings. One of these is called “The Scandinavian Swimmers snack,” and it is highly popular! However, the question is: “Are Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers Vegan?”

Trader Joe’s prides itself on offering not only unique grocery store products, but products that adhere to a wider variety of dietary restrictions and lifestyles than competing chains. Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers candy product is not made using any animal-sourced products, and is, therefore, vegan.

In this article, we will cover not only the answer to whether or not Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers are vegan, but also what requirements a vegan diet entails and some extra information on the availability of vegan options at this grocery store. This way, if you or someone you love is eating vegan, they’ll be well informed! Let’s begin.

The Scandinavian Swimmers Snack

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If you’ve never heard of Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers snack, it is completely reasonable to wonder what food with such a name could be so popular.

When you notice this product on the shelves of Trader Joe’s, you’ll probably at least be delighted by it’s fun appearance!

Scandinavian Swimmers are gummy candies in adorable sea life shapes and an array of bright, eye-catching colors.

Typically, they only cost around $3 for a single package when purchased in the store. They are made using the following ingredients:

  • Tapioca Syrum
  • Cane Sugar
  • Citric Acid
  • Water
  • Invert Sugar
  • Vegetable Juice
  • Organic Carnauba Wax
  • Natural Flavors
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Fruit Juice
  • Annatto Extract
  • Turmeric Oleoresin
  • Spirulina
  • Organic Sunflower Oil

Each of these ingredients is added either to contribute to the sweet flavor, the actual solid form of the gummies and their texture, or to brighten the color.

If you’re still unsure about whether or not you’d like to try the Scandinavian Swimmers snack, you may be interested to realize that these gummies are similar to the popular Swedish Fish candy.

What’s more, Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers actually have a slightly wider array of flavor than most similar gummy products.

For example, the dolphin shapes are flavored with huckleberry, the clamshells are strawberry, the starfish are red berry, and the tang fish are, go figure, orange!

To check the current price and availability of Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Vegan Requirements

Now that you know all there is to know about the Scandinavian Swimmers snack sold at Trader Joe’s, it is time to evaluate whether or not they can truly be considered a valid option for those adhering to a vegan dietary lifestyle. 

First, let’s make sure we understand the definition of veganism. To eat a vegan diet, one must only eat foods that were not made using any part of an animal.

This rules out meat, including fish, and eggs. However, it also restricts a vegan eater from consuming any animal byproduct, which would include any type of food made with milk from an animal.

Therefore, most who practice veganism choose to eat a diet that primarily comes from grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. If the food is made using a plant, odds are, it is safe for vegans to eat!

Are Gummy Snacks Vegan?

The question is, do candies and gummy snacks, much like the Scandinavian Swimmers made by Trader Joe’s, fall into a safe category for vegans? This is a reasonable thing to wonder, since most gummies, such as Gummy Bears, are actually made with gelatin.

Many gelatins are actually created using the skin, bones, hooves, or cartilage from animals that have been slaughtered. This causes gummy candies to fall under the umbrella of “animal byproduct.”

However, as you can see from the list mentioned above, there is no danger of this in Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers! Instead of using animal gelatin, Trader Joe’s uses other ingredients like Organic Carnauba Wax!

This preserves the gummy texture and shape of their Scandinavian Swimmers without compromising a vegan’s ability to snack on them. 

Availability of Vegan Options at Trader Joe’s

Wonderfully, Trader Joe’s does offer candy that is vegan in the form of Scandinavian Swimmers. Those who know they can’t eat other candies containing animal gelatin can find solace in these fun, fish-shaped treats. However, these are not the only vegan options sold at Trader Joe’s!

In fact, Trader Joe’s has more than 70 products that count toward being perfectly suitable for a vegan diet. This is a remarkable high number of products when you consider other, larger grocery chains and their limited offerings of vegan products. 

While most grocers, such as Publix or even Wal Mart, will offer some vegan products, Trader Joe’s seems to go out of it’s way to come up with a variety of unique products that are not made with any animal or animal-derived ingredients.

For example, Trader Joe’s has sold cheesecakes that are completely dairy free, vegan burger patties that manage to pack in the protein, and even pasta sauce that is deliciously meat-free!

The only factor that might make Trader Joe’s an inconvenient place for vegan eaters to shop is the store’s “quirky” personality.

Trader Joe’s makes a host of great vegan products, but it’s in-store signage is not always clear and even varies from location to location. In addition, the grocery chain is known for cycling out products that don’t sell well to try out new ones.

For these reasons, it may be difficult for someone who is not familiar with Trader Joe’s to find the perfect vegan substitute for a popular dish or name-brand item. Still, the customer service at Trader Joe’s is well known for being incredibly helpful and willing to find anything a customer might be looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more information on Scandinavian Swimmers and vegan options at Trader Joe’s? Check out our F.A.Q. section below:

Do Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers Have Gelatin?

No, Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers do not have gelatin. Instead, they have more organic, animal-product free ingredients to maintain their gummy texture!

What Type of Gelatin Does Trader Joe’s Use?

Trader Joe’s does not utilize gelatin in Scandinavian Swimmers.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Trader Joe’s does offer a variety of niche products, including a higher-than-average amount of vegan options for every kind of dining experience. One of these is the Scandinavian Swimmers snack, which is completely animal product and by-product free, making it a great vegan treat.

The Scandinavian Swimmers are not the only option Trader Joe’s has to offer. For dessert, there are several different products available, including cheesecakes and ice cream flavors that are dairy free.

Trader Joe’s is also famous for it’s meat-free Mandarin Orange Chicken. Try these, and the Scandinavian Swimmers, the next time you’re in the market for vegan food!


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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